Make your vote count

Make your vote count When we vote in a territorial election we would like our votes to be at least as important as a vote by a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences determining which films will win Oscars. The Academy sends out ball

When we vote in a territorial election we would like our votes to be at least as important as a vote by a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences determining which films will win Oscars.

The Academy sends out ballots that allow members to nominate films or participants in the process. A Best Film ballot has 10 spaces, as there are 10 nominees. A Best Actress ballot has five, as there are five nominees.

Members are free to choose from any film that meets the Academy’s stipulations and submit their votes in order from their favourite to their least favourite. The Academy then uses a very inclusive voting system, called preferential voting, to create the list of nominees. This is designed to create a diverse slate of nominees that reflects the preferences of the broad spectrum of film artists who make up the organization’s various branches.

Imagine that you were able to vote in this selection process. Briefly, your first place selection for best actress is examined. If you picked an actress who has at least 20 per cent (one out of five) support from the other members, then that ballot is counted.

If you chose an actress who, after all the votes are counted, has less than 20 per cent support, the number-two vote is then considered. The process continues until a choice on the ballot supports a candidate reaches 20 per cent. Thus your ballot counts, independent of the popularity of your choices.

In a first-past-the-post system, your first choice is your only choice. You have to consider how others might vote as you make your choice. You would not be able to vote with your conscience and your heart.

So we return to the original question. Should your vote in a territorial election be valued at least as much as a vote for a movie’s popularity? We believe it should.

Organizations that have considered the question of how an election can best represent its constituency, organizations such as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, do not choose the first-past-the-post system. They chose something that better represents those who spend the time and make the effort to cast a considered vote. Your vote should count.

Fair Vote Yukon is hosting its first “Fair Vote 101” at the Whitehorse Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 21. Join us at 5 p.m. to learn more about voting systems.

Dave Whiteside

Tanyss Knowles

co-presidents, Fair Vote Yukon